A Scottsdale business thinks it’s high time for a serious television show about marijuana.
CannabisRadio.com has been producing live audio podcasts on all things pot since 2015, but the company is now expanding into television with a show called “Cannabis Insight.” The company shot the pilot episode April 7.
“This project is really meant to go into the living rooms of what we call the ‘silent majority,’” said co-founder Daron Babin. “We're looking at hitting that mainstream America audience, and mainstream is interested in this.”
Babin said the company decided to launch a TV show after the success of its election night coverage this November. CannabisRadio.com produced a live six-hour video broadcast with reports and results from each state considering a marijuana initiative.
"There was such an amazing demand from a mainstream audience that wanted news on cannabis," said Babin.
And he thinks that demand is only growing. On Wednesday, West Virginia became the 29th state to allow marijuana for medical use. Eight states and Washington, D.C. allow recreational use.
That means 95 percent of Americans live in a state that allows some form of marijuana use, said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer of New Frontier Data, a research company that analyzes the cannabis industry.
“The industry today is a $6.6 billion industry. It is growing at 16 percent compound annual growth rate. That makes it one of the fastest growing industries in the United States,” she said.
New Frontier Data is co-producing the show.
“The idea here is to elevate the discussion around this plant. It's not all about getting high and partying,” Aguirre De Carcer said.
Marijuana-centric TV shows and documentaries are not new, said CannabisRadio.com co-founder Brandy Shapiro-Babin. Netflix announced Thursday it will stream “Disjointed” in August, a comedy about a Los Angeles dispensary owner starring Kathy Bates. What makes “Cannabis Insight” different – and perhaps the first of its kind – is the content, she said.
Hosted by CannabisRadio personality Russ Belville, the show features industry research, analysis, and news on a range of topics including investment, “Canna-tourism,” taxation, cultivation, legislation and more.
“We'll talk about women in [the marijuana] business and diversity,” said Babin.
“We look at the impact of medical applications specifically to veterans and NFL players,” said Aguirre De Carcer.
New Frontier projects the legal cannabis market will grow to $24.1 billion by 2025, so they are betting it won’t be hard to cultivate a crop of fans.
CannabisRadio is currently editing and shopping the pilot, so there is no firm air date. But Shapiro-Babin said the show will air sometime this year.
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